Marathon mad mum completes 100th race — and she's not stopping yet
- Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown
A mum-of-two who "hated running" when she was younger has now completed her 100th marathon at the age of 51, having well and truly caught the running bug.
Karen Hamilton, from Stowupland, only started running marathons in 2016 but she already has 100 under her belt and is not stopping yet.
The accounts manager completed her first parkrun after spotting an advert in Playworld, but before that she said she "didn't like running" and hadn't done so since school.
In her adult years she enjoyed swimming and going to the gym to keep active, but said she never saw herself as a runner.
She set herself the challenge of doing five parkruns in five weeks — smashing her target and getting the "running bug".
Mrs Hamilton admits she never thought she would do one marathon, let alone 100, and she is even gearing up to run 100 miles this weekend.
Her first marathon was in Paris in 2016, and she has also completed marathons in London, Brighton and Wales.
Mrs Hamilton said her favourite race was at the famous Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, which was her 50th marathon and marked her 50th birthday.
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She ran the Dopey Challenge to celebrate her incredible achievement of hitting 50 races.
With long distance running, speed is not necessary — and Mrs Hamilton says she isn't particularly fast but just keeps on going and pushes herself.
The quickest she has completed a marathon is four hours, but her average is between four and a half and five hours.
Mrs Hamilton said: "I enjoy it most of the time and I've definitely got the bug.
"I was running every day during the lockdowns while home schooling the kids. It was all I did, and it was just great to get out."
Within her 100 marathons, Mrs Hamilton has managed to do seven marathons in seven days, 10 in 10 days and 20 in 20 days.
"After the second and third day the hardest part is getting to the starting line," explained Mrs Hamilton.
"But once you get going it's amazing."
Mrs Hamilton is also a member of the Stowmarket Striders running group and enjoys doing trial runs every Wednesday.
Her son, aged 11, has also started doing parkruns. He hopes to reach 50 races and follow in his mum's footsteps.